When my friends misunderstand…
OCTOBER 27, 2021
When my friends misunderstand… Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
Welcome to Key Life. I’m Matthew executive producer for the program and our host is author and seminary professor Steve Brown. The church has suffered under do more, try harder religion for too long. And Key Life is here to proclaim that Jesus sets the captives free.
Thank you Matthew. We’re looking at Stephen, my friend. And I’m just, as we pass by him, I’m showing you some things about him you ought to remember. And if you were here yesterday, we talked about Stephen being normal. And you say, no he wasn’t, yes he was. Everybody you read about in Scripture from Moses to David to Paul to Peter, the disciples to John, they were all people just like you. They had doubts, just like you. They were afraid, just like you. They were sinners, just like you, who needed the grace of God in their lives, but their heart, but their heart belonged to Jesus. And so, yesterday we talked about Stephen being normal. And, his life was so short, so he didn’t have time to sin enough to be included in Scripture. But, I know from everybody else that Stephen had his downside, as well as his upside, just as you have your downside and your upside, and God used him in an amazing way. I used to say to students when they got arrogant and self-righteous, listen, you haven’t lived long enough or sinned big enough to even have an opinion on that. Well, that was kind of Stephen, he was a young man and he died when he was a young man and God used his martyrdom in an incredible way in church history. There’s a good chance, by the way, that if it had not been for Stephen, you never, would’ve heard about Jesus. And the text I read to you yesterday, you remember where they put the garments of Stephen after they killed him. They put them at the feet of a another young man by the name of Saul, that was become Paul, the first Christian missionary who wrote most of the New Testament. And there never would have been a Paul, if there had not been a Stephen. And, so we got a normal guy being used in a wonderful way. Let me tell you a story. And, you’ve probably heard this story before, the year was 1863 and there was another young man who came to Boston to seek his fortune. The only job he could get was as a shoe salesman in a small store in Boston. The young man had been baptized, but it hadn’t done much good. And his parents were not very strong Christians and he didn’t, I started to say had a loose theology, but he didn’t have any theology. But while in Boston, another shoe salesman by the name of Edward Kimble, took the young man under his arm, took him to the back of the store and he told him about Jesus. After a few short minutes, the young 16 year old lad got on his knees and received Christ into his life. Later, he went to Chicago and he became a Sunday school teacher. Again, his life was crossed by the lives of two elderly ladies who talked to him about the necessity of being filled with the Holy Spirit. After a lot of prayer and thought, he totally committed his heart to Christ. You know who that young man is, and who he became, Dwight L. Moody. And you probably never heard of Kimble, the guy who led him to Christ. And we don’t even know the names of the two women who told him about the Holy Spirit. God uses normal people, people like Stephen to change the world. And that would be you. And that would be me. Now, the sermon that Stephen preached and that’s in almost all of the seventh chapter of Acts. And you ought to read it before you go to bed tonight because it’s clear, it’s good news, it’s how people can see their lives changed and become meaningful and become important by coming to Christ. And that’s what Stephen was about. Now, at the end of his sermon, he realized they weren’t listening. You know, if you’re a preacher, you know that. I was the teacher at the Cove, the Billy Graham Center, I go there almost every year. And, I was there during the pandemic and the officials allowed The Cove to go ahead with their seminars, but they required that everybody wear a mask. And there were a lot of people there when I was teaching, they didn’t make me wear one when I was teaching, but I looked out over the people that were there and there were a lot of them and I felt like I’m surrounded by thieves. And that wasn’t the big problem, the big problem is I couldn’t read their faces. I do that. You know, when you’ve been doing what I’ve been doing for as many years as I’ve been doing it, one of the things that comes naturally is that you watch people while you’re teaching or preaching. And if they’re yawning too much, if they’re looking at their watch and shaking their watch, if they look bored and they’re looking out the window, then you’ve got to do something because it’s a sin to bore God’s people. And so, when I see that kind, I’ve lost these folks. When I see that kind of thing happening, I change the message. So did Stephen, he said to himself this isn’t working, and then he said you stiff necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears. You always resist the Holy Spirit. And then they killed him. You think about that. Amen.
Steve Brown there, continuing to guide us through Acts 6. We’ll have more from Steve about Stephen tomorrow. Make sure you join us then. So, if you listen to this program, then you might be aware of our weekly talk radio show, Steve Brown Etc. We’ll recently on that show, we discussed the idea of finishing the race well with Robert Wolgemuth the author of Gun Lap: Staying in the Race With Purpose. It’s one of my favorite episodes that we’ve done this year. Take a listen to part of that conversation, then I’ll be back to tell you about a special free offer.
First, you probably ought to talk about the title so we know what you’re talking about.
Robert Wolgemuth: Yeah. I had lots of people say don’t put gun, not these days. They’re going to think it’s a second amendment book. So here’s, here’s a quick story. I was a senior in college just about to graduate. And the track coach said, we’ve got the conference meet, we’re hosting it, would you mind helping us out, you know, rake the sand pits and stuff and timers and whatever. So I said, sure. So, I went to the tower during the two mile run and I saw this young man. He was a sophomore, I had seen him literally running at three or four o’clock in the morning. I was finishing my college day and he was starting his, out on these country, roads running and running by himself. His name is Ralph Foote, I talk about him in the book. I interviewed him for the book. So, we’re watching this race two miles, 18 laps around a quarter mile track. The starter fires the gun to start the whole race, but then when, as it turned out, Ralph is leading the final lap. The starter shoots the gun again, and that’s the gun lap. It’s Ralph Foote’s final lap.
You’re not as old as I am, but you’re old and you’ve been through some tough stuff, tragic death of your wonderful first wife. And you’ve been through a bout with cancer. I want you to share what you said about your bout with cancer. When you went through your cancer, it was a pretty rough time, but you said something that just blew me away off the air, and I’m going to share it with our listeners and our viewers.
Robert Wolgemuth: Well, how often do you drive by a hospital or a clinic, you glance over and you see this massive building, they’re all under construction too. Right? And you don’t know anybody in there and then you get sick and you’re surrounded by nurses and doctors and PAs and helpers and receptionists and custodians people you never met before. And you would never have met them if you hadn’t gotten sick. So, I’d been scuba diving or snorkeling. Not scuba diving, snorkeling. You go out into the water and it’s up to your chest and it looks like water, right? And then you got a mask on it and then you put your face under the surface of the water and it’s a whole world, an amazing creative world with fish of many colors, of coral, all kinds of stuff. You never would have seen it, if you hadn’t put your face under the surface. Well, that’s like getting sick. So, you’re sent to the hospital. You’re spending the night there, you’re getting chemo, you’ve got 6 treatments of chemo and 14 blood transfusions. I had half my ear removed and plastic surgery. It has been an unbelievable journey the last 16 months. But, under the water, I’ve seen these fish and they’re unbelievable. And they’re my friends. And I had the joy of asking so many of them, how can I pray for you? Nobody ever says, don’t bother, you stop, you hold hands, you pray with them. I don’t care what the rules are, nobody doesn’t want you to pray for them, especially during this past year, it’s been unbelievable. So, then like my chemo nurse. After the first couple infusions, it was her initiative. She said, isn’t it time to pray? That’s before she, it’s called the red devil, I’ve got a video of her injecting this thing into my port and it looks like something out of a movie. But before she puts that thing in, she says, okay, isn’t it time to pray? So like, what’s that worth? I mean, it’s worth everything that I went through to be able to have the joy of doing it.
We would love for you to hear that whole conversation. That’s why we put it on a CD. And if you’ll call us today, we’ll be happy to mail it to you, for free. Just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org and ask for the CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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